Pain upon eating or drinking cold substances such as ice cream, or hot foods and beverages such as soup, coffee, or tea is not uncommon, but it is not normal either. You should be able to eat an array of foods at various temperatures without any dental discomfort. If you’re experiencing painful teeth due to temperature changes you probably have tooth sensitivity, also referred to as dentin hypersensitivity. The roots of your teeth are protected by your gingival tissue. When your gingival tissue begins to recede that can cause painful teeth.
There are many factors that can cause sensitive teeth. One of them is age. As your teeth and gums age, your gums recede or shrink, exposing the roots of your teeth. Your tooth roots are not protected by enamel like the part of your tooth that sits above the gum. Your gum is the only protection for the root of your teeth. When your gums recede, your roots are left vulnerable to heat, cold, and bacteria. Other causes include:
Plaque: Without proper oral hygiene bacterial plaque forms on your teeth and gums. Left untreated it hardens into tartar. This builds up on your teeth and around your gumline and can lead to gum recession.
Over Brushing: Over brushing or brushing too hard can wear away your enamel and cause receding gums.
Chipped or cracked tooth: Exposed dentin from a chip or crack can be painful. Also, plaque can build up in the damaged area resulting in inflammation and pain.
Bruxing: Grinding and clenching your teeth can wear away enamel exposing your dentin.
Foods: Acidic foods and beverages such as lemons, pickles, and carbonated drinks erode your tooth enamel leaving teeth sensitive to heat and cold.
Whitening: Whitening toothpastes contain chemicals that can cause tooth sensitivity. Over-bleaching can also cause painful teeth.
About Dr. Jeffrey Allen:
Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.